Email marketing consistently delivers a better ROI than any other marketing channel. Plus, it's brilliant for community building and engaging with your customers on what feels like a one-on-one level. But if you don't have the right infrastructure in place to handle your email marketing, you're not going to be able to reach your subscribers and customers in the way you need to encourage engagement, build those important relationships, generate more leads, and increase sales. That's why we've put together this list of the top email marketing platforms on the market right now. Each of the email marketing platforms on this list offers a unique set of features to explore so you can find the perfect email marketing platform to get the results you need.
Before we dive into our list, we're going to take a little time to answer some questions you may have about email marketing, why it matters, what an email marketing platform actually is, and the features you should look for.
19 of the Best Email Marketing Software Platforms for 2021:
- 1. EmailOctopus
- 2. Mailchimp
- 3. ConvertKit
- 4. GetResponse
- 5. AWeber
- 6. ActiveCampaign
- 7. Drip
- 8. MailerLite
- 9. Keap
- 10. Constant Contact
- 11. Sendinblue
- 12. SendX
- 13. SendPulse
- 14. Omnisend
- 15. Freshworks CRM (formerly Freshmarketer)
- 16. Bitrix24
- 17. User.com
- 18. Direct Mail for Mac
- 19. Emercury
- Frequently Asked Questions
Why Does Email Marketing Matter?
As we've already mentioned, email marketing has one of the best ROI of any marketing channel. Despite the fact that email marketing has been around for decades, it still earns an ROI of 4200%—for every $1 you spend on email marketing, you have the potential to earn back $42 in return. Some reports even put email marketing ROI closer to 54%! When you consider that about 4 billion people around the world use email (Statista), this isn't a surprise. With such a large audience spread across different demographics, it would be shocking if email marketing didn't have a great ROI. ROI aside, email marketing helps you reach more customers and subscribers, increase your sales, and improve brand recognition.
No matter your industry, email marketing will help you get your marketing message out to the right people and gives you a way to stay connected with your target audience after they've left your website. Here are a few more reasons why your brand should be using email marketing:
- Loyalty. Email gives you the chance to get website visitors back to your site again and again. And people who come back to your website are more likely to become customers than those visiting your site for the first time.
- Returning visitors. About 97% of the people who visit and leave your website will never come back. That's a sobering statistic for most online businesses. However, by building an email list, you can encourage repeat visitors (and increase our first bullet point, loyalty).
- Increased revenue. Email marketing gets excellent conversion rates. Barilliance reports that the average conversion rates for email marketing in 2020 were 15.11%. Plus, purchases resulting from email marketing campaigns tend to be larger.
What's an Email Marketing Platform?
Now that you're convinced email marketing is worth it, you're probably wondering what an email marketing platform actually is and why using one matters. An email marketing platform is a software that lets you create and manage your email marketing campaigns. Simple enough, right?
Email marketing platforms are typically SaaS (Software as a Service) tools that are cloud-based. A high-quality email marketing platform makes it easy for you to send out any email communication, from email newsletters to promotional emails to abandoned cart recovery emails.
What Should Email Marketing Platforms Do?
Your email marketing platform should ultimately make your life easier, helping you automate your emails and marketing campaigns and making it easy to create beautiful and engaging emails to send to your customers and subscribers. We recommend looking for these six features when choosing the best email marketing platform for your brand:
Email marketing platforms are supposed to make the life of an email marketer easier. Look for an email marketing platform that has an easy-to-use interface with a low learning curve to ensure that you're able to utilize all the features you need quickly and easily. A drag-and-drop email editor is a wonderful feature to have. And, if you have email designers, you'll want to choose a platform that allows for HTML email templates. If you don't have people to design your emails, make sure that the email marketing platform you choose has a collection of templates you can customize to create emails that showcase your brand.
Email segmentation dramatically increases the ROI of your email campaigns. You can create targeted marketing campaigns and promotional emails for the specific audiences that will be most interested in them based on demographics, location, behavior, and more. Some email marketing platforms even operate on AI and machine learning so the software can evaluate user behavior in real-time and fine-tune your email campaigns on the fly.
Segmentation is important if you want to personalize your email marketing campaigns. And you definitely want to personalize your email marketing campaigns. Find an email marketing platform that includes merge tags to make it easy to personalize your email subject lines as well as the email copy. There are even some email marketing platforms that use dynamic content so you can create and send a single email that automatically includes certain content depending on the segment the email is being sent to.
Email marketing has a lot of moving parts, many of which are manual, repetitive tasks. Fortunately, many of the best email marketing platforms include automation features that can help you save tons of time. Email automation includes things like email scheduling, delivery receipts, engagement tracking, text analytics, role-based account access for your marketing team, and even intelligent segmentation/re-segmentation based on response to your email marketing campaigns.
One of the most important steps to take to ensure that your email marketing campaigns are getting the best ROI is testing. Many of the top email marketing platforms include A/B and split testing functionality that lets you test different elements of your marketing emails against one another to ensure that you have the best possible combination of subject lines, copy, calls to action, email design, and format.
Reports and Analytics
There are several email marketing benchmarks you'll want to track to ensure that your email marketing is meeting your goals. However, tracking this information manually can be a full-time job. Choose an email marketing platform that includes reporting and analytics so you can track open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and more.
19 Best Email Marketing Platforms
To create and execute your email marketing strategy successfully, you need to find the best email marketing platform for your business. Fortunately, we have a list of 10 of the best email marketing platforms to choose from.
It's important to note that this isn't a comprehensive list of email marketing platforms. The email marketing services included here are just the top ten that we found during our research that offer a mix of features for influencers and brands no matter your email list size or niche. There are plenty of email marketing tools out there that aren't on this list, but using the information we've provided here you'll have a much better idea of what you're looking for if you don't find what you're looking for in this list.
EmailOctopus is a popular email marketing software platform that has a mission to provide email marketing that's simpler, more intuitive, and better value than the competition. They offer templates that you can customize in their drag and drop editor, or you can begin your emails from scratch. The app even includes a landing page builder with everything you need to generate leads and grow your email list. You can also integrate many of your existing products, including Shopify, Gravity Forms, and WordPress.
- Import existing subscribers and keep growing with customizable forms for your website, or create stunning landing pages to capture more subscribers
- Start with a pre-designed template and customize it or build your own designs from scratch
- Use insights and data to segment your subscribers into target audiences
EmailOctopus offers a free plan for up to 2,500 subscribers and 10,000 emails per month. Paid plans start at $20 per month.
Mailchimp is probably one of the most popular email marketing platforms out there. It's particularly well-suited for beginners and startups and offers tools like email automation, data segmentation, templates, personalization, A/B testing, lead capture forms, and integration with CRMs.
- Get predictive insights about your contacts so you can personalize your marketing.
- Personalize individual content blocks within your emails with dynamic content.
- Design personalized customer journeys using conditional logic and branching points.
Mailchimp offers a free plan for up to 2,000 contacts and one audience. Paid plans start at $9.99/month.
ConverKit is a great fit for both eCommerce businesses and creators. It includes features like opt-in forms, landing pages, email workflows, tagging systems, data management and list segmentation, personalization, automation, and a lot more.
- Automate your sales funnel to send content to subscribers automatically, getting them prepped to make a purchase.
- Sell digital products with a tool built for creators.
- Change a URL after the email is already sent with Creator Pro.
ConvertKit offers a free plan for up to 1,000 subscribers. Paid plans start at $25/month.
GetResponse is one of our favorite email marketing platforms and its widely used by marketers across industries. It includes email automation, email templates, segmentation, and personalization. There's also a neat Auto Funnel feature that provides a ready-made marketing funnel for email marketing campaigns.
- Autoresponders to send welcome emails, followups, educational series, and nurture leads automatically.
- One-click integration to run powerful retargeting campaigns using Facebook Pixel.
- Website visitor tracking lets you send relevant communication based on page visits.
GetResponse offers a 30-day free trial. Pricing starts at $10.50/month.
AWeber is a great email marketing platform for teams, small businesses, and entrepreneurs. It includes a drag-and-drop email editor, templates, automation and workflows, A/B testing, segmentation, autoresponders, and tons of integrations.
- AI-powered email template designer so you can create stunning branded emails quickly.
- Automate email content creation by broadcasting the latest posts from your blogs.
- Direct campaigns to the right people using tagging and dynamic content.
AWeber is free for up to 500 subscribers. Pricing starts at $16.15/month.
ActiveCampaign is an affordable email marketing platform, making it great for small marketing teams and solopreneurs. It includes all the features you'd expect like automation, segmentation, triggered emails, email funnels, autoresponders, A/B testing, and scheduling. It also includes more advanced features like conditional content, geotracking, managed deliverability, and multi-user editing.
- Segmentation and dynamic content make it easy to customize your message and send targeted emails to the right contact.
- Personalize your emails based on any contact information you have.
- Use simple split testing to make your emails get more opens, clicks, and buys.
Pricing starts at $9/month.
Drip is one of the more advanced email marketing platforms on our list and is the perfect option for eCommerce businesses because of its seamless integration with eCommerce platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento. You can use eCommerce CRM data to create personalized marketing, segmenting your email list based on any number of criteria like clicks, purchase history, email opens, and more.
- Ecommerce CRM lets you learn more about your customers so you can create targeted and personalized email marketing campaigns.
- Communicate with your customers no matter where they are, from email to SMS to social and beyond.
- Connect your eCommerce store to Drip to collect revenue-attribution data so you can make better marketing decisions.
Drip offers a free trial. Pricing starts at $19/month.
MailerLite is one of the more basic email marketing platforms on our list but that actually makes it perfect for email marketers who are looking for a straightforward email marketing platform that doesn't include a bunch of extra features that they don't need and won't use. It includes the basics you need for successful email marketing like surveys, automation, popups, and landing pages. MailerLite also integrates with dozens of eCommerce platforms and marketing tools you're probably already using.
- A website builder, landing pages, popups, and embedded forms help you bring in more leads.
- Personalize your campaigns using advanced targeting features.
- Test, experiment, and streamline your emails to improve your email marketing benchmarks.
MailerLite is free for up to 1,000 subscribers and 12,000 emails per month. Pricing starts at $10/month.
Keap is technically a customer relationship management service, but it has robust email marketing, automation, and sales tools, earning it a spot on our list of the best email marketing platforms. Keap includes automation and workflows, templates for emails, quotes, invoices, and proposals, and it integrates with your other favorite business tools and apps.
- Advanced marketing and sales automation, customizable campaigns, and app integration to power growth.
- Automatically capture new leads, assign tasks, and trigger personalized messages.
- Manage your contacts and leads in Keap and sync your Outlook and Gmail.
Keap offers a free trial. Pricing starts at $56/month.
10. Constant Contact
Constant Contact helps you create email marketing campaigns like a pro. It includes a smart email editor that makes it easy to customize and design great-looking emails that stand out on every device. It features email marketing automation that helps you drive sales by keeping your audience engaged and building relationships. Constant Contact also has specialized email marketing for eCommerce tools to help your online store grow. You can upload contact lists from Excel, Outlook, Salesforce—or wherever you store your contacts.
- A smart email editor
- Email marketing automation, including a welcome email for new subscribers, triggered email series, contact segmentation, resend emails to non-openers, and powerful list-building tools
- Smart eCommerce tools-and results, including segmented and automated emails
Constant Contact offers a one-month free trial. Pricing starts at $20/month.
Sendinblue is an all-in-one platform covering many business communications types, including Email, SMS, Facebook, Chat, CRM, and more. The company's mission is to help businesses meet their customers. They help you to focus on the important tasks and put the rest on autopilot with automation. You can create professional-looking emails in no time, starting with an email template or building a new design from scratch.
- A shared inbox so you never lose track of your customer email history
- 60+ responsive email templates
- Contact Segmentation - make your emails more relevant by targeting smaller groups of contacts with a tailored message
Sendinblue is free for up to 300 emails per day to unlimited contacts. Pricing starts at $25/month for up to 10,000 emails.
SendX is affordable, intuitive email marketing software that you can use to design, schedule, and track email campaigns, driving sales from your emails. You can upload an opted-in email list, send broadcast email campaigns, and create reports to measure clicks, opens, measure conversions, and more. You can automate your email marketing with a powerful rules-based interface based on user activity, audience segmentation, and more.
- Design, schedule, and track email campaigns, automating with a powerful rules-based interface when relevant
- Build your email list using high converting email pop-ups forms, inline forms, and landing pages to own your audience
- Design emails without HTML. SendX drag and drop editor is meant for marketers to design professional-looking emails with ease
SendX offers a 14-day free trial. Pricing starts at $7.49 per month when paid annually.
SendPulse is a multi-channel email and messenger marketing platform built for sending emails, SMS, and creating chatbots for Facebook and Telegram. You can send different types of messages separately or combine them with Automation 360. It includes a suite of email marketing tools, helping you to collect users' contact information, create responsive templates, and set up automated flows.
- A drag and drop editor to create responsive emails without any HTML knowledge, including 130+ templates
- Trigger emails to nurture leads in every stage of your sales funnel, and convert them into paying customers
- A form builder to create a pop-up, embedded, or floating subscription form on your website to collect email addresses and other information from your visitors
SendPulse is free for up to 15,000 emails to 500 subscribers. Pricing starts at $6.40 per month when paid annually. There are additional costs for extra marketing channels.
Omnisend is an all-in-one email marketing automation platform that also caters to eCommerce and SMS. It enables you to expand on your newsletters and boost sales with automated emails, segmentation, and the added potential of SMS. It includes pre-built automations for cart abandonment, welcome series, transactional emails, and more.
- A library of templates makes it easy to create professional, stunning emails without coding that you can easily customize to fit your brand, add products, include dynamic discount codes, and save for your next campaign
- An Automations Library with pre-built workflows for every step of your customer journey
- Segmented targeting that can be used both for campaigns and automations across all the channels Omnisend caters for
Omnisend is free for up to 15,000 emails per month / 2,000 per day. Pricing starts at $13 per month when paid annually. There are additional costs for SMS, although higher plans offer SMS credits.
Freshworks CRM is a full-featured marketing automation solution for your business that includes email marketing. It has tools for you to engage and convert your audience from subscribers into paying customers with email campaigns, so you can provide relevant information at the right time and deliver integrated campaigns that improve conversions.
Key Email Features:
- Build emails from scratch effortlessly with an easy-to-use drag-and-drop editor, or choose from a vast collection of templates to create design-rich emails that complement your messaging
- Send emails that speak to your audience with personalization and can bring in more conversions
- Understand campaign performance with analytics
Freshworks CRM offers a 21-day free trial. Pricing starts at $A29/month for the Marketing Cloud when paid annually
Bitrix24 aims to replace many services and apps with a single ecosystem for your business to work in. Its tools cover communications, tasks & projects, CRM, contact center, and website. Email is included within its contact center tools, which are software tools for classic customer communication channels, such as email, phone and text messaging.
Key Email Features:
- Many channels, one contact center: social networks, mobile messengers, email, telephony, website live chat, website forms
- Contact center reports (activity by channel, activity by day/time, average response time, client satisfaction, supervisor ratings, custom reports)
- Marketing and sales, including email marketing
Bitrix24 offers a free starter business tool set that includes a basic set of Contact Center tools. Plans start at $24/mo.
User.com is a single workspace providing you with easy-to-use yet very robust tools for marketing, sales, management, and support teams. Your Marketing team can use it to upgrade your brand's communication across channels. You can plan various paths for multiple customer segments and let automation take over the job. You can create personalized and tailored emails, sending the right email to the right receiver at the right moment.
Key Email Features:
- Utilize defined snippet tags to make your message more specific to the person
- Plan your agenda and set up future promos
- Track open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribes; see all your campaigns' analytical results instantly.
User.com offers a Free plan with a basic set of features. Email marketing is only included in the Business and Premium plans that start at $249/mo.
Direct Mail for Mac enables you to create and send great-looking email newsletters. You can use it to compose, grow, track, send, collaborate, and automate your emails. Whether your emails are newsletters, announcements, or promotions, Direct Mail is confident you will find the perfect template, and you can customize up to 18 fields. It includes a built-in image editor, a Design Test feature to see pixel-perfect screenshots of your message rendered in over 50+ email clients and live previews that update as you type
- Grow your mailing list by adding a subscribe form to your website that automatically syncs with Direct Mail and integrates with your company's Facebook Page. Alternatively, swiftly import all of your contacts from other apps
- Send emails to large lists in a matter of seconds without having to worry about bounces and deliverability issues
- Autoresponders that are highly customizable and easy to use. Let your subscribers know they're important to you by sending them a celebratory wish, or a special promotion, every year on their birthday
Direct Mail for Mac is free for up to 150 emails/mo. Plans start at $15/mo.
Emercury is a powerful email marketing platform that marketers use to reach, convert, and retain their customers. Setting up a broadcast message to reach your subscribers couldn't be easier. Choose from their easy-to-use HTML editor or their Drag and Drop Template Editor. You can send personalized messages to your customers. Emercury enables you to sync your data with over 2,000 sales and marketing tools, teamwork apps, forms, customer support platforms, social media, and more.
- Create responsive emails with a real-time drag-&-drop template editor. Start from scratch or use one of their templates
- An easy-to-use form-builder for your website that gives you what you need to design a form with customizable fields and then show the form at the right time
- Managing contacts with ease: segmented lists, bulk unsubscribe capabilities, suppression lists, tagging subscribers, a robust search function, and a never-email list
Choose between subscriber-based pricing and CPM pricing. Prices start at $65/mo, with a 15% discount for non-profits and a 10% discount for annual plans.
Which is the Best Email Marketing Platform for You?
When you're considering email marketing platforms, it's important to keep your business's specific needs in mind. If you need advanced automation and segmentation, choose a tool that includes those features. As you can tell from our list of email marketing platforms, each platform offers the same basic functionality. Beyond that, the right email marketing platform for your business is the one that fits within your budget and has the features that you need right now (or know you'll need as you grow).
Before choosing an email marketing platform, we recommend taking the time to make a list of what you're hoping to accomplish with your email marketing campaigns and what features you'll need to meet those goals. Then, narrow down your options based on those features. From there, it's just a matter of choosing the one that best fits your budget!
Frequently Asked Questions
Is email marketing still effective?
Email marketing consistently delivers a better return on investment than any other marketing channel. For every $1 you spend on it, you can possibly earn $42 in return. It is an excellent way to build a community and engage with your target audience on more of a one-on-one level. All things considered, it remains one of the best ways to reach your subscribers and customers, grow those key relationships, get more leads and boost sales.
What benefits does email marketing offer?
With email marketing, you can boost loyalty, get more returning customers and boost your revenue. For example, by taking the time to create an email list, you can encourage repeat visitors who are more likely to become customers than visitors who are visiting your site for the first time. Lastly, email marketing also gets excellent conversion rates and the purchases that result from an email marketing campaign also tend to be bigger.
What does an email marketing platform do?
In short, an email marketing platform is a software that enables you to create and manage your email marketing campaigns. It is typically a SaaS tool that is cloud-based. With the help of a high-quality email marketing platform, you can automate your email and marketing campaigns, ultimately making it easier to create engaging emails.
What can I do with Mailchimp?
Mailchimp is one of the most popular email marketing platforms. It offers tools such as email automation, data segmentation, templates, personalization, A/B testing, and lead capture forms. You can, for example, use it to gain predictive insights abouts your contacts. This will help you to personalize your email marketing and create individual content blocks within your emails with dynamic content. All in all, it is especially well-suited for startups and beginners.
Are there any free email marketing platforms?
Yes. In fact, there are actually a couple of good email marketing platforms that you can use free of charge. You can, for example, check out Mailchimp, MailerLite, AWeber, and ConvertKit. All these tools offer some sort of free plan, but limits the number of contacts you may add. For example, with Mailchimp’s free plan you may add up to 2,000 contacts, while a platform like AWeber is free for only up to 500 subscribers.